(Day 116 – 121)
16.03.2010 - 21.03.2010 27 °C
Our flight from Santa Marta was delayed as we circled above Bogota for an hour waiting for clearance, as we turned constantly through turbulence. You would have thought that with all the flying we are doing we would be used to planes and turbulence, but the truth is that for me it’s getting worse and I (Martin) really hate flying! (Not much luck there seeing we have another 5 months of travel ahead..). Its getting to a point where I’m close to getting hysterical before boarding a small plane.
Anyway, after a while of going round in circles, our flight got diverted to another nearby town, Medellin,where we disembarked and then re-embarked again to finally get to Bogota. We were to spend 1 night here before catching another 9 hour bus to the Zona Cafetera (coffee region).
In Bogota we met up with a good friend Rory & his girlfriend Justine and it was great to finally catch-up with some familiar faces. They were also in Bogota for the one night only, so it worked out really well and we had a very pleasant evening together.
The next day, after a fairly long and bumpy bus journey, we finally arrived in Salento, a quaint hamlet in the heart of the Coffee country. Rural workers dressed in cowboy hats and Colombian ponchos are a common sight, as are farmers transporting cows.
We picked a rustic hostel (Plantation House) on the outskirts of town and decided to spend 3 nights here and discover the area at our leisure.
On our first day we hired horses to ride through the Valle de Cocora, a beautiful valley which contains a thick forest of tall wax palm (Colombia’s national tree). It grows 70m high and can live for 200 years. The area is magnificent, rolling green hills as far as the eye can see and green grass so bright it almost looks artificial.
We spent the rest of our time exploring the little town before heading off to a Coffee Farm near the town of Quimbaya. It was odd arriving in Quimbaya with our huge backpacks and locals just starring at us, we must have been the first gringos to set foot in the town, how dare we! They looked harmless enough but a lot of stares..
We spent only 1 night on the Coffee Farm. It was to be a little treat, something special seeing it is our honeymoon. We relaxed by the pool in their magnificent plot of land, walked through the coffee plantation and just pretended we were worth it
The following day we headed back to the madness of Bogota.